Monday, January 3, 2011
Last Wednesday I was contacted with a new assignment for Lindy's Sports Annual (the baseball edition). I'm always up for sports illustrations. They tend to be different enough from my normal scope of work that it's challenging and fun. Aw, who am I kidding? I don't know that I have a "normal scope of work". Just about every illustration job is different (and I love it).
At any rate, while I love football, no sport holds for me as much excitement as baseball. Watching it as a kid seems to have forever placed it in my brain onto a magic pedestal along with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Captain Crunch. So, suffice it to say that baseball illustrations in particular are a real pleasure to draw. There. I knew there was a point in there somewhere.
The first illustration will accompany an article about how difficult it's been to predict baseball contenders as of late. I enjoyed drawing/painting the lighting in this one. Illustration number two is Roy Halladay.
Roy does not have an easy face to draw. I run into this occasionally. Some people just give me trouble. Typically, it's people without many distinguishing characteristics or features. The most symmetrical faces are the hardest for me. There's nothing to focus on. Nothing to draw (har har) the attention, nothing to exaggerate. But I worked and worked and worked and eventually wrestled this illustration into a satisfactory form. Hopefully it looks like Roy Halladay. I'm occasionally tempted to draw a big arrow pointing to whomever I've just drawn and write beneath the arrow "This is a drawing of (person's name)". Hey, it's cool for political cartoonists, right?
I like to draw. I also like to use the word "ancillary" whenever possible. Makes me feel ancillary. Anyhoo, this set goes along with the factory illustrations from a couple months back. The illustrations are meant to show workers in the various areas of the factory using the Aqualab.
Main challenge: Using various angles and compositions to create visual variety within the set. This was also made more difficult by the circular framing, which was a little more limiting than I had anticipated.
Least favorite part: The first illustration (the woman with a hairnet, goggles, and a red shirt). This project actually took a lot longer than I'd predicted, mostly because of this first illustration. I had to figure out a style that sat comfortably between cartoony (too silly for the context) and realistic (too serious). It also had to match the original illustrations enough for them to mesh in a single visual presentation. I probably re-drew her face four different times.
Favorite part: Probably the woman with red hair (in shipping). I just like the way this one came together.
I'll post the sketches first, then the finals.
Happy New Year! Well, it looks like my m.o. in terms of infrequent posting during the fresh-faced 2011 will remain generally unchanged. But if that sticks sideways in your craw I'll make you a deal: I promise to feel more guilty about not posting regularly.
This first post was a private commission. I drew it on the tablet and am pretty satisfied with the result. I know I've said this before, but I continue to be amazed at the similarities between tablet painting and oil painting. It's like rediscovering an old friend. Assuming old friends are available for purchase through Wacom.